Wasps on food

yorkie

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If wasps are crawling over food, such as cakes, is that food still considered fit for human consumption?

I ask because today myself and another forum member were at a café type place that was aware of an "infestation" of wasps, and knowingly sold cakes which had been crawled upon by wasps.

Is there any legislation that covers this?
 

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najaB

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Is there any legislation that covers this?
I'm having a look now. The primary legislation would be the Food Safety Act 2003
Food Safety Act §8 said:
(2)For the purposes of this Part food fails to comply with food safety requirements if it is unsafe within the meaning of Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002 and references to food safety requirements or to food complying with such requirements shall be construed accordingly.]
Referring to the EC Regulation gives us this:
Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 said:
Article 14

Food safety requirements

1. Food shall not be placed on the market if it is unsafe.

2. Food shall be deemed to be unsafe if it is considered to be:

(a) injurious to health;

(b) unfit for human consumption.

3. In determining whether any food is unsafe, regard shall be had:

(a) to the normal conditions of use of the food by the consumer and at each stage of production, processing and distribution, and

(b) to the information provided to the consumer, including information on the label, or other information generally available to the consumer concerning the avoidance of specific adverse health effects from a particular food or category of foods.
Which doesn't help that much since there's no precise definition of what 'unfit for human consumption' actually means.

My thinking on this is that you'd be better off going down the Trading Standards route...
 

najaB

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A second thought occurred to me right after hitting 'Post' - since it was a wasp infestation it might be easier to go down the 'injurious to health' route as it's reasonable to assume that someone who is allergic to insect stings could easily be affected. The EC Regulation says:
4. In determining whether any food is injurious to health, regard shall be had:

(a) not only to the probable immediate and/or short-term and/or long-term effects of that food on the health of a person consuming it, but also on subsequent generations;
 

Jonny

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A second thought occurred to me right after hitting 'Post' - since it was a wasp infestation it might be easier to go down the 'injurious to health' route as it's reasonable to assume that someone who is allergic to insect stings could easily be affected. The EC Regulation says:
4. In determining whether any food is injurious to health, regard shall be had:

(a) not only to the probable immediate and/or short-term and/or long-term effects of that food on the health of a person consuming it, but also on subsequent generations;
Which, in the manner of EU-inspired legislation, does and doesn't make it clearer. The clarity is for what the criteria are met for withdrawal of food from sale, however it is unclear if the wasps have actually contaminated the food. They are actually quite hygienic creatures, so it is unlikely to be the case.

As an aside, whether the presence of the wasps being attracted to the food made for a public nuisance (in the legal sense, as being injurious to health) by the risk of a direct wasp sting is another matter.
 
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Peter Mugridge

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Wasps, like flies, walk all over substances such as rotted food that certainly would not be welcome anywhere near a mouth. Those cakes are certainly not fit for consumption.
 

Harpers Tate

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Happens a-plenty in the relevant season on those pop-up street markets where stalls sell things like Baklava. Question: can anyone cite any real case where a person has suffered anything at all from consuming such an item?
 

Peter Mugridge

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Happens a-plenty in the relevant season on those pop-up street markets where stalls sell things like Baklava. Question: can anyone cite any real case where a person has suffered anything at all from consuming such an item?
It would be a theoretical risk and probably no worse than the consequences of swallowing a fly, which lots of people do without any adverse effect*.






*Old ladies excepted...
 

A Challenge

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I had a fly flying round my breakfast at a hotel in Austria earlier this month. I didn't get poisoned, neither did anyone else. Someone did get food poisoning though I don't think it was related!
 

Iskra

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That is not okay, any food touched by an insect should not be served and should be thrown in the bin.

All pest problems must be reported and managed effectively, this is evidently not happening and EHO could easily close this place down and issue an improvement notice.

As a manager of a food venue, I would expect disciplinary action if I was knowingly serving food that had been touched by insects. I also carry out inspections on 25 other outlets for the brand I work for, and I would be seeking disciplinary action should I find anyone else knowingly serving food that insects have touched to customers. If I found an insect infestation, I would expect to see paperwork to show that it had been escalated to pest controllers.

Anecdotal evidence that eating food touched by insects doesn't cause harm, would not save anyone from being closed down by EHO or from any disciplinary proceedings. You do not know what those insects were touching before that food, or what they are carrying.
 
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DaleCooper

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I had a fly flying round my breakfast at a hotel in Austria earlier this month. I didn't get poisoned, neither did anyone else. Someone did get food poisoning though I don't think it was related!
Austrian flies carry Austrian diseases which obviously can't be caught by British people. You just have watch out for British flies which are on holiday; they're easy to spot because they buzz very loudly to make themselves understood by the local flies.
 

Bromley boy

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Which, in the manner of EU-inspired legislation, does and doesn't make it clearer. The clarity is for what the criteria are met for withdrawal of food from sale, however it is unclear if the wasps have actually contaminated the food. They are actually quite hygienic creatures, so it is unlikely to be the case.

As an aside, whether the presence of the wasps being attracted to the food made for a public nuisance (in the legal sense, as being injurious to health) by the risk of a direct wasp sting is another matter.
I don't disagree that it's disgusting.

However the fact that every branch of Tesco displays croissants and pastries openly with flies buzzing around them suggests that the fact food may have come into contact with wasps and even flies isn't, in itself, enough to render it unfit for human consumption.

I avoid cakes and pastries from open display for this very reason.
 

507021

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I avoid cakes and pastries from open display for this very reason.
As do I. I had a bad reaction to a wasp sting a few years ago, so I certainly don't want to risk another one. If I saw something like the OP, I would report it to a member of staff immediately.

I used to work in a café that sold cake slices, and the cakes were always kept in a glass cake stand.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Austrian flies carry Austrian diseases which obviously can't be caught by British people. You just have watch out for British flies which are on holiday; they're easy to spot because they buzz very loudly to make themselves understood by the local flies.
I can't disagree with any of that. But don't forget that because of free movement, Austrian flies can come over to the UK at any time without a visa. Obviously that means that Austrian flies might be carrying British diseases as well as Austrian ones. Hopefully once we leave the EU, if suitable border controls for flies get put in place, that problem will be solved.
 

najaB

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Austrian flies carry Austrian diseases...
I can't disagree with any of that. But don't forget that because of free movement, Austrian flies can come over to the UK at any time without a visa...
Typical. People buzzing on about flies instead of focusing on the problem at hand. Flies are just a distraction from the real issue: wasps.
 

fowler9

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Personally if a wasp landed on my food it wouldn't bother me, a fly maybe would. A good point is that as we see in many supermarkets all kinds of stuff is left uncovered which pretty much anything can land on! Again that said I'm sure that lots of the fruit on open display has plenty of fruit flies landing on it.

I guess my ultimate opinion is that I try not to worry about it too much. Whatever I eat probably won't kill me and a lot of legislation in place is to stop big companies getting sued for tummy bugs rather than it being seriously dangerous.
 

DaleCooper

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Typical. People buzzing on about flies instead of focusing on the problem at hand. Flies are just a distraction from the real issue: wasps.
In my capacity as self-styled public relations spokesperson for the family Vespidae I was deliberately attempting to divert criticism away from wasps and on to flies (but not hoverflies).

Anyway the only reason we worry about insects is that we can see them unlike the millions of bacteria, fungal spores, microscopic invertebrates etc. which are floating in the air around us all the time.
 

Dennis

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Think I'd be more worried about people coughing and sneezing on the open displays of buns and pastries in the supermarket than a few wasps.
 

Busaholic

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Austrian flies carry Austrian diseases which obviously can't be caught by British people. You just have watch out for British flies which are on holiday; they're easy to spot because they buzz very loudly to make themselves understood by the local flies.
The noise they make sounds something like 'Brexit' repeated endlessly, like a drone.:lol:
 

theblackwatch

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I'm just wondering, would people on here throw away a piece of cake (or plate of food) at home if a wasp or some other insect landed on it? I know I wouldn't!
 

Busaholic

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Does this mean no more Dead Fly Biscuits?
Have to mention this, as the company concerned disappeared decades ago, so not libellous. Where I grew up in S.E. London there was a biscuit manufacturer called Chiltonian where every unemployed person was sent to work on the production line: most barely lasted an hour, and in that time there's an awful lot that a disaffected person can put into the mix, the rumour being the production line was never stopped to 'examine' the product. Suffice to say that Chiltonian biscuits were never sold within spitting distance of the factory!
 

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